Since the beginning of the refugee crisis, it has not been safe in Belgian truck parking lots. So far, the authorities have limited themselves to simple solutions that are not very beneficial to drivers. There is much to suggest that the new rules will improve this difficult situation.
For several years now, the Belgian authorities have resorted to closing parking lots or introducing night parking bans on trucks to ensure driver safety. In this way, Belgium tried to ‘fight’ illegal refugees who regularly break into parking lots and trucks, often devastating fences and the vehicles. It concerns mainly facilities located on the E40 route leading to the port of Calais, where refugees are looking for opportunities to get into semi-trailers and thus enter the UK.
The solutions used so far have not had the expected effect and have only made it difficult for truck drivers looking for a place to stop to take the obligatory rest. Refugees continued to cause damage by destroying e.g. parking lot fences or truck tarpaulins. Since they most often move in groups, the Belgian services were helpless in trying to identify perpetrators. That is why the Belgian MP Maaike De Vreese has drafted a bill which will make it possible to hold the whole group responsible in such a situation. They are to be fined and imprisoned for breaking into a truck and parking lot, reports the Dutch transport portal nieuwsbladtransport.nl.
Similar regulations have been in force since 2016 in Belgian ports, where the intrusion itself is punished and the perpetrators do not need to be proven guilty of destroying e.g. a fence.
On this basis, a court in Bruges recently sentenced six refugees to prison and a fine,” says De Vreese to the Dutch portal.
The same is to apply to parking lots and trucks now. When the regulations come into force, so far we don’t know. We will keep you up to date on further details.